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Time from NPL


Science > Time > Time is moving

Time has moved

We are delighted to announce the successful transfer of the NPL MSF 60 kHz time signal to Anthorn.

Time from NPL. Forever Accurate.

At 00:00 (midnight) on Sunday 1st April 2007 the MSF service stopped being transmitted from Rugby and is now transmitted from a mast located in Anthorn, Cumbria managed by VT Communications plc.

NPL is the UK's timekeeper and is responsible for the operating the national time system, making accurate time available across the UK.

Many people get the time direct from NPL via the MSF 60 kHz signal which broadcasts the national time standard. Radio receivers, including those in domestic radio controlled clocks & watches, pick up the signal ensuring their time is "forever accurate".

This handover follows a significant testing period and investment in new equipment. There is now a ten-year contract in place to provide this signal throughout the UK.

Our contractors have conducted tests around the country to measure the new signal and have found that it satisfies the required field strength of at least 0.1 mV per metre at 1000 kilometres from the transmitter - therefore covering the whole of the UK. This is the same specification that BT were contracted to provide and all commercially manufactured receivers should be designed to work with this level. Many of those available quote a range of 1,500 km from the transmitter.

If you are experiencing any difficulties in receiving the time signal, please see our Common Clock Problems page. Because the signal has moved locations you may find you need to move your clock/receiver to successfully pick up the signal.

If you are concerned about the handover, please contact the NPL Helpline (normal working hours) on 020 8943 6880,

Click here for more information about the time/msf